It was my 5th day of the StartupBros Import Empire event and I was staying at the Marriott [as pictured above].
The Ritz-Carlton–where we stayed for the first 4 days–is better. It costs $350/night, for normal folks. . .
–Fortunately, I know Kyle and Will, and they were kind enough to hook me up with a discount for $150/night.
[Balcony view from the Ritz.]
But I get ahead of myself. . .
My Last 2 Months Have Been Fast and Furious 1
–And I don’t usually stay at 5-star hotels, but. . .
Kyle Eschenroeder surprise-attacked me!
Here’s what happened:
2 weeks ago I was thinking over a decision, and I wanted Kyle’s opinion. 2
After Kyle had given me his opinion, I mentioned I might be doing some Amazon stuff. Since he and Will are elite at this 3, and know many of the best Amazon entrepreneurs, I figured he’d be the right person to ask:
Fast forward a bit in our FB conversation…
(I immediately pounced on this opportunity.)
Kyle was being super nice for giving me a $2,000 VIP spot. Despite this (being the greedy bastard that I am) I asked him for another favor: would he also give my business partner a free spot?
(He actually did use that for a testimonial.)
I then made the bookings and all that B.S. Then I put all the information (including my schedule during the event) into a travel itinerary inside Evernote and enabled offline sync for that specific notebook.4
Then I got on a plane. Actually, make that planes. Many planes.
A Peek at My Travel Itinerary. . .
Then I Arrived at Orlando, Florida:
After traveling for 27 hours, I arrived at the Ritz-Carlton with Oskar Faarkrog.
–Needless to say, we were very tired.
Just after we’d checked in, and were heading towards the elevator, we saw Kyle, Will, and a few others having drinks in the lobby area.
We went over to say hi.
The next thing I know, Will ordered in 20 shots of some secret American booze5 that tasted like coffee.
Then he did it again. . .
. . . and AGAIN!!!
[Pictured: Will (left), me (middle), Kyle (right).]
–Needless to say, we all got very drunk. . .
. . . and took this picture on the hotel room balcony:
Then I slept for 3 hours, max.
The funny thing was that I woke up feeling super energized, with zero jet lag!
After taking care of some menial tasks, I then had lunch at the hotel:
[The cool-looking green liquid is a type of pumpkin juice.]
I then shot a vlog with Kyle in my room. . .
. . (which you can watch at the bottom of the article.) [Pictured: Me & Kyle Eschenroeder of StartupBros doing a vlog.
Topic: You’ll find out when you watch the video.
Location: at the Ritz-Carlton in Florida, Orlando.]
Then the Event Began
And Kyle got up on stage with less sleep than me, and still did a kick-ass job presenting the speakers.
At Night We Had Another Party
I went there with Oskar.
Like every other night of the StartupBros Import Empire, there was an open bar and unlimited, free, tasty food.
One guy at the party used a networking trick worth copying.
(unfortunately my picture of it refuses to upload)
. . . but here’s what he did:
He wrote:”I’ll give you $5 if you introduce yourself to me!”on his badge
Try doing that the next time you go to a networking event.
Epcot Center: Consumerism Galore
The next day I went to the Epcot Center.
–First for sightseeing (which sucked8), and then, at night, as a part of the StartupBros Import Empire event (which rocked).
What do I think about the Epcot center?
I think it’s a scenic environment, but unfortunately it is populated by confused consumers. . .
. . . many of whom ride around on scooters, because they are too fat/lazy to walk on their own.
Then I Met a Bunch of Cool People. . .
. . . like Elliott Hulse 9.
Elliott is a good example of someone who’s grinded it out and laid the foundation.
Later that night, at the party, I asked him how much he works.
Can you guess it?
–He only works 3-4 hours a day.
How can he get away with that?
Answer: Because he’s already worked his ass off for YEARS.
Better answer: Because he’s already built up his assets.
Met Maneesh Sethi @Maneesh, and he told me about his Pavlok. It seems awesome. A photo posted by LudvigSGM (@ludvigsunstrom) on
. . . And then I met Daymond John (founder of FUBU and currently known for being on the TV show Shark Tank).
Last Night of the StartupBros Import Empire Summit
We went to a piano bar. I had never been to a piano bar before.
I made the girl who performed say that “Kyle Eschenroeder is awesome!”
That was fun–I bet he didn’t see that one coming.
[Clever and quirky advertising by Will & Kyle. It cost them only ~ $30, but it impressed me (and probably everyone else from the event) and definitely stood out in a positive way.]
After meeting so many cool people and taking in so much actionable information I felt a little bit mentally overwhelmed.
I needed some time for myself, to decompress and reflect.
[End of StartupBros Import Empire Summit: I had to rest in this hammock.]
Maybe you’re wondering why I had to rest, when all I did was talk to a bunch of people (all day every day for 5 days straight).
Well, I’ll tell you why. . .
Because I was drunk every day (night).
Just kidding. Maybe.
[On a more serious note. . .]
Because, as the philosopher Baltasar Gracian said [of conversation]:
No act in life requires more attention, though it be the commonest thing in life.
So I Stayed One More Day, Just to Relax
(And to take that magnificent photo you saw at the beginning of the article.)
–And also to hang out with Kyle and Edmund at the pool.11
Then I shot a vlog with Oskar by the lake, where we reflected on what we’d learned during the event. Oskar was extremely afraid of alligators and freaked out when a huge bird swooped over our heads (sorry buddy, but you did).
[We did the vlog at the far left, sitting in those chairs.]
Leaving Florida for California
In conclusion. . .
Startupbros Import Empire Summit is probably the best event I’ve been to.
I look forward to the next one.
. . . Hold on, I’ll be right back.
. . . Gotta pack my luggage and prepare for another flight now (ugh).
The plane just took off (see image to the right) and I’m listening to an awesome trance song.12
Why am I going to California?
–To stay at Jay Campbell‘s house.
Jay has a successful real-estate business with his wife, Monica. But that’s not why I’m going there. . .
. . . I’m going there because Jay is a master at fitness, health, nutrition, and just about everything else involving physiology and the human body.
As a testament to that, Jay’s the only guy I’ve met (over 40) who has a better physique than Mikael Syding.
Jay Picked Me Up at the Airport
When I got in the car, my first impression was: Damn, he’s pretty shredded. 13
While driving to his place, we encountered a traffic accident.
Arriving at Jay’s House in LA. . .
Guess what time it is now?
It’s 7:03 PM! It’s hammer time!
—It’s quiz time!
Question: How do you judge a man’s character?
By his looks?
By his words?
By his actions?
Sure, those are good measures, but guess what’s even better?
It’s this: By examining his library.
[Jay is an avid collector of Halloween items, and he holds a particular fascination for skeletons. Just kidding. That’s his daughters’ stuff.]
Three good books from Jay’s shelf:
- Guns, Germs, and Steel (Jared Diamond).
- The E-Myth Revisited (Michael Gerber).
- The Ultimate Sales Machine (Chet Holmes).
–And he was kind enough to give me two of them.
The next day we went to the gym (LA Fitness) to work out.
Jay: “Eww! What’s up with your form, bro? You’re doing it ALL WRONG!“
Jay: “Dude, you’re using too much momentum. I’ll show you how it’s done…”
Jay: “Start by doing this, bro. . . then use both arms at the same time!”
I also did some of those bicep curls (when in Rome. . .)
After the gym me and Oskar did work for a couple of hours. . . at HOOTERS.
This was the first time I’d been to a Hooters restaurant, and it smelled like weed and burgers. Most of the customers were obese older men.
But I’m not surprised Hooters is a successful business, because it combines two of the most basic human needs:
- Food (chemically altered junk food)
- and sex (voluptuous women dressed in short skirts and push-up bras)
Click here for #3: 15
Then we went back to Jay’s place where we had dinner–and a bunch of cool supplements.
A Peek at Some of Jay’s Favorite Supplements. . .
Yes, let’s have a look right in his cupboard!
- What do they do?
- Who are they for?
- Where can you learn more?
[Note: Be sure to read that if you’re interested in supplements.]
[Note 2: Underlining done by me.]
[Note 3: I tried MD Meltdown and I was very focused the entire day.]
And the day after that Jay took me to METal. . .
METal stands for:
>> Media Entertainment Technology Alpha Leaders.
It’s an all-male club with ~1,600 members.
To become a member you need to be invited/recommended by existing members (among other things).
All first-time attendees must give a short presentation about who they are.
–They call it “Speed to Cool.”
Present who you are, what you do, and what makes you COOL.
Basically, SELL yourself to the other members in the audience.
–And do it with SPEED.
This is an excellent initiation ceremony.
I asked to be first, but the founder (Ken Rutkowski) said I had to go last just because of that!
[Before I tell you what happened next, there’s something you should know. . .]
A quick lesson in sales:
When you present whatever you’re selling, you’re supposed to describe what it’ll do for the buyer. A lot of people instead describe what the product can do in general (which is not only boring, but also takes a long time).
This is the #1 most common mistake in sales: to talk about the features instead of the benefits.
No one cares about the features of the product.
–People only care about how the product will help them (the benefits).
In this case, it means that no one will be impressed if you say “I’m witty”, which is a feature (a general description), but if you instead tell a funny joke people might think you’re cool.
It was pretty brutal.
One guy had to jump over a couch (he said he was a visionary), tell a joke (he said he was witty) which–unfortunately–bombed.
Another guy had to do it over like 10 times, and–unknowingly–got toilet paper stuck under his shoe.
To their defense, they were very nervous. . .
. . . (which is perfectly understandable, because guys of high caliber were in attendance. Like one of the “founders” of Bitcoin– who, incidentally, was asked by Ken to “show how it’s done,” and completely crushed it.)
And me? Did I bomb?
–Nope, I passed without trouble.
Not because I’m a witty visionary or anything like that17. . .
. . . but because the guys who went before me had rambled on for so long.
Therefore, it wasn’t hard for me to stand out by means of contrast (this is the secret of humor and delivery).
–As long as I kept my presentation short, it wouldn’t matter much what I said.
(It’s all about pattern recognition.)
Then we were shown some of the latest and greatest technological marvels.
And after that we listened to three interesting speeches (one by the co-founder of the restaurant chain Tender Greens).
Then I met some interesting people:
. . . like one of the members of Pink Floyd.
. . . and the guy who did the TMNT18 theme song.
Then we went to Santa Monica Beach
–Where we shot a vlog.
We were gonna shoot it right here, on this old tree, above the beach. . .
. . . but guess what happened next?
Two belligerent park rangers came over and said we couldn’t do that!
Why not? I’ve no idea. I think those guys should mind their own business.
Jay said we were lucky they didn’t give us an $800 ticket. Whatever.
So, we had to shoot the vlog at a bench 50 meters away.
There were benches to the left and right of us.
On the bench to the right, there was a woman who listened to us talk.
After we’d finished, she said she thought it was interesting.
Jay asked for her opinion on the topic 19 and she agreed with most of it. Cool.
And then more stuff happened. . .
–But I’ve written for several hours in a row now, and I’m TIRED!
Bone-tired, as Ted Turner likes to say.
So you can watch that video I shot with Kyle at the Ritz-Carlton.
I think it’s a pretty cool rant, and we go over a lot of different topics. . .
Vlog w/ Kyle Eschenroeder:
- 1-2: Startupbros Import Empire Summit
- 3: “Idiot compassion”: Self-development for losers.
- 4: Oskar makes an unexpected entrance.
- 4:30-9: “Stop hacking your life!” Kyle’s offensive article on AOM (in which he mocked “life hacks”).
- 9-11: Coping mechanisms, homeostasis, and cognitive biases.
- 11: Noble indulgences: Osho preached sex as a path to enlightenment.
- 15: Stoicism, sex, and Marcus Aurelius.
- 17: PFC, decision-making, emotions vs rationality.
- 19-21: Kyle recommends the book Sapiens.
- 22: Don’t be extreme (ideologically). Never buy into any system 100 %.
- 24: Kyle talks symbology and I nerd out on neuroscience.
- 25: Breaking out of homeostasis–which way of doing it is hardest?
- 28: Tips on activating the PFC.
- 30: You can’t trust your body! Kyle talks 2-day fasts he’s done.
- 31: Kyle on evolutionary mismatches:
It’s amazing how little we can trust ourselves now. . . . we have to live a more abstract life than ever before.–Kyle Eschenroeder
I will spend much of the next month or so working on my upcoming book, Breaking out of Homeostasis. Click here to learn more about the book and to be notified when it’s finished.
A lot like that guy in the movie Limitless, going around having one revelation after the other, whilst being hyper-focused on work! ↩
Always consult 3 trustworthy people in your network before making important decisions.↩
and. . .
Yes, that’s right. . .
I’ve stopped using OneNote for my commonplace, and I’m now using Evernote.
I’ve written a couple of highly useful articles about this for my personal site (different aspects of my system you can emulate for improved organization and productivity) but they are NOT published yet. I’ll keep you posted when they’re up. It took me like 80 hours to set up the new system, but it’s GOOD.
Evernote is better than OneNote IF (!) you’ve got 2000+ notes and you’re running a business. Otherwise (for 95 % of people) OneNote is superior and SO much easier to use.↩
I think called it XoXo (?) ↩
That’s his Twitter. Follow him. He’s a certified badass with 4 businesses & 200+ employees. During the event he consistently shared extremely actionable advice (without fluff or filler). He’s also a former rock star. ↩
who had one of the most hilarious introductions I’ve ever seen for a speech. ↩
my “selfie-stick” (which I wanted to use for shooting cool videos) was confiscated upon entrance, because a bunch of kids had hurt themselves using them on carousels lately, and Epcot Center had got sued for it. ↩
(who, apart from being a very down-to-earth guy, is a lot more shrewd than most people give him credit for.)↩
Pavlok is an interesting product if you’ve got bad habits (and you’re serious about breaking them). I will get one of his Pavloks soon and give it a try (I used to wear rubber bands for the same purpose, but they’re ugly and they break quickly). Funny side note: Maneesh told me his Pavloks are selling really well in Norway and also Sweden. He wondered if it was because people were more conformist in Scandinavia. That’s probably correct.
They were kind enough to buy me and Oskar food and drinks (without us even asking for it). ↩
with veins visibly popping out powerfully on his neck and forearms. ↩
(FYI, that magazine is global and has hundreds of thousands of readers.)
So it was pretty nice of him to host me, while preparing for something like that.↩
And the best part is that Hooter’s has managed to become a legitimate brand. The notion is that if a woman works at Hooters she must at least be somewhat attractive. So that’s flattering for her. I imagine the career ladder for a girl like that goes something like this: 1) Hooters 2) Porn 3) Playboy 4) ? ? ? ↩
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. One of my favorite TV shows growing up. I loved that song–but I never knew the words. ↩
population growth, the political system, the global economic system, how large the disparity between rich and poor can get, and whether history is a reliable guide to the future in this instance. ↩